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tv   Viewpoint  Current  August 6, 2013 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT

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>> cenk: where are you going to go an hour from now? >> john: jeff bezos buys "the washington post." this is the biggest thing to happen to print media since tina brown turned it into a blog. reince priebus warns cnn if they run their planned mini series on hillary clinton, he will not let them carry the g.o.p. debates. thereby, totally p promotiti ememseselvlves in n adadvance ad guaranteeing cnn and abc will get better ratings than if they carried the debate. tonight's f bomb, it is an open letter to the right wing pro-life anti-abortion repeal roe v. wade community about how the republican party has been
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suckering them for decades. today is the birthday of crouching tiger hidden dragon star and bond girl, the great michelle yo, love her. andy warhol would have been 85 today. and the late great elliott smith nominated for an oscar for good will hunting soundtrack would have been 44 today. also, the best comedy tour you never heard of and congressman alan grayson is here. this is "viewpoint"! >> john: good evening, i'm john fuglesang. thank you for joining us on "viewpoint." the u.s. today ordered americans out of yemen sending the international terror alert to high. all nonessential government employees have been evacuated from the u.s. embassy and american citizens are urged to leave now! the british embassy closed up shop, as well. and the evacuation comes just a
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day after u.s. intelligence officials say they intercepted a new threat. this one from al-qaeda chief ayman al-zawahiri to his deputy ordering him do "do something." that something officials say is a major attack. one involving explosives or possibly a suicide assault. this, of course, follows weeks of what the intelligence community calls a rising tide of chatter, the likes of which they say we haven't seen since 9-11 2001. last week, the white house temporarily closed an unprecedented 19 american embassies and consulates across the middle east and in north africa and sent out a warning for travelers throughout the globe. it is all vaguely reminiscent of the color-coded alerts of the bush era. florida representative alan grayson is a member of the progressive caucus as well as the house committee on foreign affairs and we've been honored to have him as a frequent guest of this program. he joins us this evening from orlando. congressman grayson, welcome back to "viewpoint." >> thanks. thank you very much. >> john: great to have you.
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this latest threat, sir, appears to be much more specific than the 9-11-like chatter we were warned of last week. we mentioned, sir, your role on the house foreign affairs committee. have you been briefed at all on this new intercept? >> well, you know, listen, i get classified information. i'm not supposed to convey it to other people but i will tell you that actions have consequences. we've been running a drone war in yemen, in afghanistan, in pakistan and other locations for years and basically the other side wants to strike back. >> john: what has been surprising is some of the president's most rabid critics have rallied around his lockdown of almost two dozen diplomatic posts not just in yemen but also egypt, libya, saudi arabia and other u.s. allied states. is that warranted, sir or is d.c. bending over backwards, call it a collective cya move to repeat the attacks that we saw in benghazi last september?
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>> well, we'll see. i am skeptical. i think that there may or may not be an attack. i do think that the intelligence community in particular has been beaten up pretty badly and understandably in the media in the past several weeks. they're looking for some way perhaps to distract people, perhaps to recoup some element of their reputation in which they've lost and it has been damaged because of all of the domestic spying that's been taking place. >> john: this is evocative of the bush era color-coded terror alert is. should we expect to see in five weeks similar alerts? >> it is evocative of wag the dog but as i said, there may or may not be an attack. we'll have to wait and see. >> john: i agree with you. what do you mean when you say it is evocative of wag the dog? >> the intelligence community wants to change the fact away from the fact they've been spying on every american who has a telephone. every time you call anyone, every time i call anyone, the
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nsa gets information about that call. there has been extension reporting about e-mails, about log on and off your computer, about google searches and all in the name of protecting us from foreign attacks. i'm glad the nsa does its job well with regard to determining or avoiding or defeating foreign attacks. that does not in any way justify the pervasive spying on americans that's been reported on now for the last two months. >> john: is it going to work, congressman? do you think it will put public fears on american citizens to rest because this will give us the illusion or at least the impression that our government is doing this purely to protect americans? >> listen, americans are relatively intelligent people and i don't think you can fool them to that degree. no one could possibly believe that the nsa should get a report if every time they called their pizzeria and asked for a pepperoni deep dish pizza and somehow that's meant to protect
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them from al-qaeda. that doesn't make any sense at all. that's the system we live under right now thanks to this pervasive violation of the fourth amendment and the u.s. constitution. and that has to end. >> john: let me turn to signs of a different kind of unrest here at home. thousands of fast food workers, as you know, walked off the job this past week in protest over the federal minimum wage. they want it to double from $7.25 to $15 an-mile-per-hour. congressman, what do you think the minimum wage should be raised to? >> we've introduced legislation to bring it up to $10.50 an hour, which would put it back in terms of where it was in terms of purchasing power back in '68, we call that the catching up to 1968 afnlgt if you look around the world, it is pathetic to see how far our labor stand has fallen behind other countries. i want america to be number one, not number one in foreign countries occupied or number one in number of people incarcerated. i want america to be number one in wages. i want america to be number one
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in benefits. i want america to be number one in healthcare. in australia, they have a $16 an hour minimum wage. in germany, people routinely, as a matter of law get up to six weeks off each year and they get 44 days of paid sick leave. germany is not impoverished by that. they're strengthened. we need to make the same sort of steps here in america to improve the working conditions of the people who work. >> john: i think germany providing their version of medicare for everyone who makes under $100,000 has something to do with that of course. >> germany has had universal healthcare for a century. we're still arguing about it here in the united states. >> john: 100 years after teddy roosevelt ran for it on the progressive ticket. >> that's right. >> john: pushback is the only thing we're getting from our republican friends in congress. i'll tell our viewers, the 447 house votes, 406 them, roughly 10% were g.o.p. attempts to
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defund obamacare. i would call that theatre except i live near broadway, theatre creates jobs. of course, obamacare is not the g.o.p.'s only obsession. they voted 12 times to defund the embattled group acorn even though it doesn't exist anymore. this is like spitting in the wind over and over again. why bother? what do these guys say to you? i know they're friends. do you shake them and say what are you doing here? >> it is worse than spitting in the wind. if you spit in the wind, you don't hit anybody. they're spitting on poor people and sick people and needy people. they're bent on making sure that people who are sick cannot see a doctor and get the care they need to stay healthy or to stay alive. that is their cause. that is what they're dedicated to this year. they say that they're willing to actually bring down the u.s. government. much like an anarchist would, much like a terrorist would want to, for the sake of preventing americans from seeing a doctor when they're sick. that's so twisted, i can't begin to describe it. >> john: can they be reasoned
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with? i have to believe the republicans aren't all malice-based. some must realize how much this is hurting the very people they're sworn to protect. >> no, in fact, they're drenched in their own mish goss. they hear the same lies and it is a giant echo chamber that has nothing to do with planet earth any longer. they believe obamacare will increase the deficit when it decreases the deficit. they believe obamacare will take away people's insurance when it doesn't take away people's insurance. they believe it is a government takeover, single payer system. it is not a single payer system. my god, we would have to make this interview two hours at least if i was going to recount all of the lies stuck inside their skulls. >> john: we cover them relentlessly here, alan. i don't want to call them stupid. i call them embissell americans. before i go, i want to ask what have your constituents been saying to you? you're home in florida. what are people there concerned about? >> well, they want healthcare.
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i'll tell you that. florida has the third highest rate of uninsured people in the country. 20% overall. it is 40% for latinos. in my district, it is 400% latino. we have people in central florida who are desperate to get care. people are dying of cancer. people who have terrible diseases and the governor has shut all of the free healthcare clinics in this entire state for the sake of his business being expanded and on and on it goes to people want healthcare, education thor their children because they understand it is the only way their children's lives will be better than theirs. they want jobs, jobs, jobs. we have focused and made great effort to bring in every federal dollar that we could into this district in order to be able to promote the economy and get some kind of recovery going in an area where 80% of the families who own houses have a mortgage worth more than the value of their house. they're underwater and they feel like they're drowning. >> john: it's insane. i want to thank congressman alan grayson for joining us on
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"viewpoint." thank you for coming here and thank you for your service to the american people. >> thank you for a wonderful show that's elevated this course about politics to an amazing degree and thank you for your service. >> john: it is an honor to have you say that. we'll see you soon. for the rest of you, stick around. that lovefest is over but hillary's fears are reaching critical mass and the lady ain't even running yet. turkey and make it fast". >> (laughter). >> she gets the comedians laughing. >> that's the best! >> that's hilarious. >> ... and the thinkers thinking. >> okay, so there is wiggle room in the ten commandments is what you're telling me. >> she's joy behar. >> ya, i consider you jew-talian. >> okay, whatever you want. >> who plays kafka? >> who saw kafka? >> who ever saw kafka? >> (laughter). >> asking the tough questions. >> chris brown, i mean you wouldn't let one of your daughters go out with him. >> absolutely not. >> you would rather deal with ahmadinejad then me? >> absolutely! >> (singing) >> i take lipitor, thats it. >> are you improving your lips? >> (laughter). >> when she's talking, you never
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know where the conversation is going to go. >> it looks like anthony wiener is throwing his hat in the ring. >> his what in the ring? >> his hat. >> always outspoken, joy behar. >> and the best part is that current will let me say anything. what the hell were they thinking? >> only on current tv.
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cenk off air alright in 15 minutes we're going to do the young turks! i think the number 1 thing than viewers like about the young turks is that were honest. they know that i'm not bsing them for some hidden agenda, actually supporting one party or the other. when the democrats are wrong, they know i'm going to be the first one to call them out. cenk on air>> what's unacceptable is how washington continues to screw the middle class over. cenk off air i don't want the middle class taking the brunt of the spending cuts and all the different programs that wind up hurting the middle class. cenk on air you got to go to the local level, the state level and we have to fight hard to make sure they can't buy our politics anymore. cenk off air and they can question if i'm right about that. but i think the audience gets that, i actually
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mean it. cenk on air 3 trillion dollars in spending cuts! narrator uniquely progressive and always topical, the worlds largest online news show is on current tv. cenk off air and i think the audience gets, "this guys to best of his abilities is trying to look out for us." only on current tv! >> john: welcome back to "viewpoint." the republican party is getting a little touchy. g.o.p. chairman reince priebus says nbc and cnn will not get to host any republican debates in 2016 if they don't pull their planned films on the most famous woman in the world, hillary clinton. in a le to each network, priebus wrote the coverage would be unfair to her democratic and republican rivals. priebus won't stand for nbc's planned four-part mini series starring diane lane and cnn's documentary on clinton. he said...
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cnn said... nbc news wrote... like i said, bitch, please. let's bring in our esteemed panel on this. rick ungar is a democratic strategist and contributor to karen hunter is the pulitzer prize winning journalist and now runs karen hunting publishing and teaches journalism at hunter college and dean obeidallah is a political comedian and writer. his documentary opens next month across america whether you like it or not. welcome back to "viewpoint," everyone. this is a great story. because remember when the republicans were so upset over that ronald reagan mini series. most movie critics don't know what they're talking about. so reince priebus should feel right at home, am i right, rick ungar? >> i think hillary is slipping
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reince priebus a few bucks. no one wants to see their life story before an election. he, as usual, he didn't plan this well. if you're going to complain about this, wait until the movie's made, wait until you see how it comes out -- >> john: and then play victim. >> precisely! it is so stupid. >> john: karen, i know it will be a long time before we see that big budget rick perry mini series put out by the networks but is there any part of you that feel reince priebus' pain? >> no. what he threatened is we're not going to get to see the republican debate. i'm thinking that was a favor, right? we'll have better ratings than republican debate. so i don't know that that threat was really even strong enough. >> john: dean, i haven't seen something like this. i haven't seen a p.r. stunt backfire like this since jim carrey made everyone want to see "kick ass2". what's going on? >> i think he's being fair.
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he have until august 14th to pull the movie. >> john: it hasn't been made yet. >> rick is a former lawyer. that's the worst type of censorship. they want to restrain something before they've seen it. they've been apprehensive about anyone doing it. the movies have made hillary clinton a household name. she's so well-known. >> i think he knows exactly what he's doing. he wants these movies to be made. >> john: why? >> because no politician running for president wants to see a four-part mini series about how their husband was impeached. >> now, there is going to be all of this pressure on nbc's part to make this as fair as possible. >> john: i think you may be right but the greatest irony is for the 2016 field, hillary clinton is the best we've got. jeff bezos is buying "the washington post" and for $250 million ending 80 years
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of ownership by the graham family. i saw bob woodward weeping over this as if he was still a journalist. he transformed the online retail business. can he do the same for print, karen? >> oh, yeah. i'm a little -- i feel some way about it because as a former journalist because i don't know what journalism is anymore, what he did to publishing is like epic. so i'm hopeful that maybe he can bring some new energy to what has devolved into this that we're experiencing now in journalism. but i'm also a little concerned because he has a space plant. he wants to do this amusement park on mars. i don't know how that's going to play in. >> i think he's buying "the washington post" because he needs the paper to wrap the projects in. he's paid $250 million for "washington post." a-rod's contract is $275 million.
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>> he could have gotten a-rod. >> useless. >> almost no money. $250 million for "the washington post" and the other ancillary plot, unreal. i think that's like 1/69th of his wealth. the globe was purchased. they'll face -- huff poe only gets bigger. will there be any impact on the public? >> it remains to be seen. the public never really cares who owns it. any new blood in the newspaper business is probably a good thing as long as it's not koch blood. >> john: will this kill the fire wall? i mean the pay wall. will this make people not pay? >> i don't know why it would matter. >> you look at the amazon model. they're not making their money off the sale of books. they're making the money off of ancillary properties. that's figured out how to make that into a viable entity. why wouldn't he bring the same model to newspapers. why shouldn't we pay for
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newspapers. >> john: to bring it to a more national audience. >> you can probably return it to "the washington post." >> not working. >> john: jeff bezos personal venture sends people into space. as the koch brothers try to buy tribune papers -- >> i'll write a check this moment. >> john: it will be interesting. it seems like this guy gave us the kindle. he arguably saved or transformed book reading. so what is reading a newspaper going to look like ten years from now? will there even be papers anymore? score one for the trees? >> i don't know why we need it now frankly. >> john: is it nostalgic? >> i talk to people who read regular papers. why? i can read five newspapers every morning in the time it takes you to go through one newspaper. >> here's the problem. on a fundamental level, what we have kind of stripped away is this notion of having real investigative journalists,
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gristled veterans on the newsroom. when i came into the daily news in the late '80s, there were people who had been there for do, 30 years. today, the editors are in their 30s. everything is about turning the quick dollar. i don't know. i think he said he's going to keep the sanctity of what "the washington post" is. >> john: i would like to see it happen. i want to shift gears a bit because the u.s. has closed 19 embassies and consulates throughout africa because of terrorist chatter. rick, do you think the country's gotten cynical after we were on orange alert or yellow alert during the bush years? >> it has been quite a few years since we experienced that. there was a period of time where every week, somebody was telling us we're an orange color. i haven't heard that in ages. i think people are paying attention to what's happening right now. >> john: you can think about are they trying to prevent another benghazi attack. dean, i want to put this to you,
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hey, look over here, squirrel, squirrel, squirrel, forget about the nsa spying. >> i think it's ridiculous they're going to close embassies for a week. what? we can't blow it up. they're closed! it is laughable. they're closed for a week and the al-qaeda guys have no resolve. >> john: how much is that going to stave something off? >> when you hear senator chandler say the nsa program is the thing that gave us information. we need to do this. you understand this connection of this is a political attempt to get us the support of the nsa program. no one has problem with the nsa spying on foreigners. >> no one has said this has anything to do with the program we're concerned about which is spying on americans. i don't think it was that at all. i think there is a legitimate threat out there. they're responding the best way they can. >> i agree there might be a legitimate response and it might
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have to do with what happened in benghazi and overreaction or appropriate reaction. when you said we're no longer the orange threats. they're just now doing things in boston. we don't even get warnings now. that's the point. at the end of the day, we have all of these levels but the reality is if someone wants to do something, they'll do it. >> john: al-qaeda never does the same kind of attack twice. they'll ram a boat -- they'll have the plane, the underwear bomber guy, the trains in spain. they don't do the same thing twice. dean, you have a film about pre-con received notions. >> sure. >> john: post-9-11, you decided this make this film. what's your personal reaction as a muslim, every time -- >> he's a muslim? >> john: yeah. are you white enough that it's not an inconvenience to you? >> i think so. >> i don't have a problem. i'm a tourist in the conflict. i don't inject myself into it. most people don't know i'm muslim.
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people say horrible things to me face about muslims or about arabs. it is a struggle. when you see the misinformation by the so-called security experts saying it is near the end of ramadan and that's what muslims do. but muslim after muslim journalist have been writing where has there been any instance of the end of ramadan terrorist attacks? >> the cole attack was on the attempt on the ship was after the day of power. >> this is a new thing that the guys in the west have made up. there's no day of power. today is peace. day of praying. it has become this talking point from not even people on the right. security experts. peter bergen, other people going the day of power. >> john: in fairness, the fundamentalist extreme right wing muslims who think violence is okay if we do did so they don't care about this piece. >> the truth is it can be used
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as a rallying cry by extremist cleric. they call it a day of power. but ramadan, it is in two days now. the big celebration. >> kind of strangely hebrew. >> john: there you have it. from a muslim, a christian and a jiewrks i want to thank my guests, rick ungar, dean obeidallah and karen hunter. thanks for making my job so much fun. rick perry suffers from a severe case of foot in mouth disease. there ain't no cure.
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>> john: oklahoma to "viewpoint." in today's edition of so that happened, the gift that keeps on giving, rick perry is back. i'm not going to make a bunch of tired rick perry jokes because it distorts political discourse and i forget the other thing.
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here's the clip. >> there are many other states that embrace those conservative values, the approach that we've taken over the years. i'm in one today in florida. you look at south carolina, you look at florida. i'm in one of those states that reflect those today. in louisiana. i got that. >> john: it's not easy to lose an entire crowd of people who vote for bobby jindal. can we, can we please have a serious discussion in this country about a very important issue and that is rick perry control. how many more public tragedies do the american people have to witness. every time rick perry shoots his mouth off, this man is killing the g.o.p.'s chances offerer getting back into power. it used to be don't mess with texas. now i think it is okay to mock it all during recess. it is not like the governor is
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going to remember who did it, right? coming on to me all the time now. (vo) she gets the comedians laughing and the thinkers thinking. >>ok, so there's wiggle room in the ten commandments, that's what you're saying. you would rather deal with ahmadinejad than me. >>absolutely. >> and so would mitt romney. (vo) she's joy behar. >>and the best part is that current will let me say anything. what the hell were they thinking?
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>> john: alex rodriguez is still allowed to suit up for the yanks as he repeals his 211 game suspension. mlb says he violated the basic agreement. a-rod is of course accused of using performance-enhancing drugs oz peds and trying to obstruct the investigation of the biogenesis firm where he
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supposedly got them. at a pregame press conference, he told us how hard his life is. his incredibly comfortable drefnled in wealth difficult life but he did not deny using peds. >> for the last seven months, has been a nightmare. >> like i said, i think we'll have a chance to discuss all of that and we'll talk about it then. >> john: once he got up to bat, the fans this chicago let him know their verdict. >> alex rodriguez. [crowd booing] >> john: our next guest says though we may be missing part of the story. very important part. dave zirin joins us from d.c., the sports editor for "the nation," he's also the author of
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"game over" has politics has turned the sports world upside down. mr. zirin, welcome back. >> great to be here, john. >> john: thank you so much. you've said there is a real hypocrisy surrounding baseball. can you explain that for us? >> where shall we begin because there are hypocrisies on top of hypocrisies wrapped in a little ribbon that says the word hypocrisy written on the ribbon. let's start with who got pinched the other day in this investigation. after alex rodriguez, all the players came out of the dominican baseball pipeline. now, what does that mean? they were trained. they were assigned as teenagers as young as 15, some scouted before their 10th birthday, signed for $2,000 to go to one of the baseball academies in the dominican republic. why does this matter? in the dominican public,
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steroids are legal. steroids are used in great quantities in the baseball academies. baseball has made no public statements ever about cleaning up steroids and performance-enhancing drugs in the dominican republic. they're used to train players in the dominican republic then when they come to our shores, they become exams that baseball flattulates of everything wrong with the game. baseball wants to have its anabolic cake and eat it, too. >> john: rodriguez is someone who lived in the dominican republic before moving to miami. it was not like he was plucked from a third world country. there are plenty of players who are. >> alex rodriguez is an exceptional player, someone branded as a sure fire hall-of-famer by one scout.
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this isn't an alex rodriguez story. if anything, he's the big sparkler that's over here to distract us from what's happening over here. and that's the fact that you don't have major league baseball at this point without the dominican republic and their academies. one out of every three come from the dominican republic. for people watching who don't know, the dominican has a population less than that of new york city. yet it supplies one out of every three minor league baseball players. 27% of major league players are from latin america and all players from latin america eventually tend to make their way through the dominican pipeline. so, to me, this is just another chapter in how major league baseball has always done business. this is a league whose ownership profited to the tune of billions of dollars throughout the 1990s on the home run race and the steroid boom and yet no owner was ever called in front of congress to speak out and defend their practices. it is just another process where it doesn't go nearly far enough
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up the chain of demand for my taste. >> john: i completely agree. in the late '90s, steroids saved baseball. of course, a-rod, as we know is no choirboy. and you've said -- you called him an insecure mean girl. we know he's lied before about the ped use. there is a mountain of evidence against him, dave. yet you say all of this means the player's association should fight harder for him, precisely for that reason. why is that? >> alex rodriguez is loathsome. i live in takoma park, maryland, roughly a ten minute drive from my house is one of the most dilapidated not up to code housing projects in all of prince george's county, maryland. people live in squalor, no ventilation, mold everywhere. i've taken tours of the place. why am i talking about this? it is owned by ol ex rodriguez. >> john: you're kidding. >> neptune ventures, his real estate company. he owns this housing project. this has been a scandal in the local press here. not alex rodriguez but the
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conditions in which people live. on top of that, alex rodriguez is somebody who has given literally thousands upon thousands of dollars to anti-union political candidates and yet now the union and i know the head of the union, michael wiener is holding his nose having to do this. they need to defend alex rodriguez precisely because he's so loathsome. they have to defend him. because he is the very definition of low-hanging fruit. this is about whether or not the union is going to have an appeals process, if they're going to have a seat at the table going forward and if they're going to be able to defend their players against the interest of owners and to be clear, the interest of owners are less about performance-enhancing drugs and more about their ability to void these contracts and that's the part of this that so maddening is if alex rodriguez, i find loathsome, if he gets suspended, that's $34 million that goes directly into the pockets of the owners of the yankees. they don't penalized.
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>> john: it is shocking to think of unions supporting corrupt players because we all know washington, d.c. and congress would never support corrupt ceos. johnny is the reigning heisman trophy winner. he's in hot water for accepting payment for an autograph signing session. they refuse to let students make money from their play in college. do we see a thought shift in thought with someone like him or are they going to lower the boom? >> they'll lower the boom on johnny for the same reason mlb lowered the boom on alex rodriguez. neither of them have a constituency. there is no fan base clamoring for alex rodriguez and there is no fan base clamoring for johnny man zeal. they had a head editorial titled johnny be gone. they're tired of him and his behavior. he's incredibly entitled and spoiled. tom wolfe would not have the stones to create somebody like
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johnny from wealthy texas oil money and he's the heisman trophy winning quarterback for a team in texas.
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this show is about analyzing, criticizing, and holding policy to the fire. are you encouraged by what you heard the president say the other night? is this personal, or is it political? a lot of my work happens by doing the things that i'm given to doing anyway, by staying in touch with everything that is going on politically and putting my own nuance on it. in reality it's not like they actually care. this is purely about political grandstanding. i've worn lots of hats, but i've always kept this going. i've been doing politics now for a dozen years. (vo) he's been called the epic politics man. he's michael shure and his arena is the war room. >> these republicans in congress that think the world ends at the atlantic ocean border and pacific ocean border. the bloggers and the people that are sort of compiling the best of the day. i do a lot of looking at those people as well. not only does senator rubio just care about rich people, but somehow he thinks raising the minimum wage is a bad idea for the middle class. but we do
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care about them right? >> john: they make people laugh all races, religions, all walks of life. laughter is universal. that was the point of the film the coexist comedy tour which documents this very unlikely and revolutionary line-up. but then something happened in post-production. their christian comedian bailed and the film morphed from being a concert film to a narrative documentary on the search for a christian comedian to represent. >> shot the whole thing. it was in the can and now he calls and says he doesn't want to be in it. >> his agent said no. i don't know exactly what happened. >> we heard he was up for a tv show. >> i knew he had something big going on when he said no. >> we heard he was up for a tv
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show. >> why that would make him say no, i have no idea. since then, he's been on letterman. >> now, we don't even have a film. >> you can't have a coexist comedy tour without a christian. so what are we supposed to do? we decided we would hold auditions. >> we'll audition for new christian comic. >> get a replacement christian. >> john: a replacement christian. i think they sell those at home depot. you'll never guess who they found. joining me now is the director of this very smart and funny film, the coexist comedy tour, winner of best documentary at vision fest in new york and soon available for download on itunes and amazon as of august 13th, its director larry brant and the it'sist and founder of the tour who can be seen at the punch line in sacramento august 28-31. he has a great album out entitled elf orgy. he's one of the funniest guys of any nonreligion. welcome, gentlemen. it is great to be with you. as your token christian catholic
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infidel. thank you. >> thanks for having us john. >> larry, as a director who's mainly done narrative films in the past and independent cinema, what made want to do a film on this benetton rainbow of faith comedy tour? >> well, you know, it was nice to do something where the body count was zero at the end of the picture. i think there were a couple of points where the producers might have wanted to up it by one with my getting -- starting the first place which appeared to be a disaster. but i live in new york part of the year. i think every new yorker is constantly reminded about what intolerance -- religious intolerance can do. it seemed that the themes were so important, this is not a touchy touchy-feely film. anyone who's seen keith or mosha understand they're pretty rough on each other. and the idea that people can be
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rough on each other and they can talk about their differences but do it peacefully and actually in a humorous fashion was very appealing to me. as a narrative filmmaker, the idea of doing a comedy documentary was appealing. >> john: i have to say, i've seen the film twice now with full audiences in theatres and while it is about religious coexisting and unity. it is not a movie you bring grandma to it. is pretty filthy and rough and it brings the house down. keith, you're an atheist. what made you want to hang with a bunch of believers and do a tour like this? >> i have a bunch of believes in my family and friend groups. we've always given each other a lot of grief, in fun. mostly in fun. and so we had a week together at a comedy club. supan being the hindu. we started realizing we were cracking each other up more backstage make fun of each
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other's religions than we were on stage. so we thought we might have something here. so we went searching to see if we could find a funny jewish person which i know is a stretch. we were willing to take on the challenge. then we ended up with a funny female muslim comedian. that's when we knew we had something special. >> john: i think it's terrific. it is like the traveling wilburries of infidels. michael moore has become a real champion of this film. he screen and it at his comedy arts festival in michigan earlier this year. but at one point, of course, larry, your christian comic bailed. you had to find a replacement christian. how hard a blow was that at the time and what was the journey to find a christian comic? >> well, you know, it's funny, you mention michael. he took me aside after screening the picture. he said a lot of filmmakers would have given up after this disaster. did never occurred to me. why would anyone give up? as soon as keith told me the bad news, i had two simultaneous
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feelings, one is this is really screwed up and the other, this could make a really cool movie. it just -- narrative and a plot point had just entered our film. and so i spoke to rebecca reynolds, jim carpenter, our producers. we have to find another funny christian. we set up a series of auditions. but it never occurred to me that did wouldn't work. i thought you know, there's something about turning the camera on that changed everything. i mean the irony of the film is the whole purpose of the film was to demonstrate how the religious could coexist and by the process of turning on the camera, i think that was an instigating event. we just demonstrated that, in fact, they can't coexist. so it added kind of a meta level to the picture that i think was interesting because now it became a movie about a story as well as simply a concert film. >> john: it really is two in one d is quite innovative. the fact it was on accident is
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why is so brilliant. keith, you represent the atheist wing of this tour. >> knock, knock. the atheist. i'm sorry, never mind. i forgot we don't actually knock on your door. interrupt you when you're doing other things. all the door knocking -- they say they're bringing the good news. we would deliver. atheism, sleep in! >> john: it is a funny bit, keith. i play a lot of atheist events. in film, you're playing as an atheist comedian. do you ever get a less than welcoming reception? >> no, i've actually been pretty lucky. sometimes i'm disappointed in that. i have friends who have been attacked on stage, chased off, it is a little insulting no one
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has. i guess i'm not pushing hard enough. i've had nice reactions. i've been performing out in the sticks in the south which is what i call any place, anywhere in the country that's 15 minutes outside of a metropolitan area and i've had people come up to me after shows and say are you really an atheist like they've never met one before. you want to take a picture with me? show it to the relatives? but mostly, i hope that i'm bridge building, you know. and saying true, i'm an atheist and you're a christian but neither of us like mormons so we can bond on that. >> john: larry, i have to say, i'm honored to be a part of your film. i, of course, wound up being the christian you use in the end of the film. i don't know if the pope would still consider me catholic. what was interested in working for you on this movie, full disclosure, you decided to shoot this on the eve of the ten-year anniversary of 9-11. your film ends with the ten-year anniversary of 9-11. how important was it for you as
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a filmmaker to have that concept of religious unity invoke this horrible act of religious violence? >> well, the difficulty is bringing that in without making it maudlin or preachy. and i think that the way you do that is of course to the humor of the comedians. it was really kind of a coincidence that your show was that weekend. and i almost had forgotten about it. as i was heading downtown to see you, i saw this amazing scene of these cars being pulled over. it was a checkpoint because of the anniversary, there had been a bunch of terrorist threats. so i said i've gotta -- i happened to have my camera with me and i captured that and stuck it in the film. what i found as a filmmaker in narrative as well as documentaries, documentaries, especially, because so much of it is -- it is just the luck of the moment. you have to take advantage of happy accidents. you have to turn, in this case, what was a disaster into an
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asset which was losing the christian and you have to constantly beware of your surroundings and the fact that we ended on this tenth anniversary of 9-11 was just a really kind of touching, evocative point but it was just -- you know, if there is a god of film making, i believe in him. because it certainly does seem often the case that something is presented to you in a way that you could not have scripted or expected. >> john: you give a lot of good film making advice and life advice. it is wonderful to you have both. i appreciate the opportunity to rail against the religious right while bringing all faiths together through humor. thank you both. don't take my word for did that the film is funny. please check it out. you can download it on itunes as of next week. thank you, larry brand and keith lowell anderson. coming up next for the ladies in our audience, why the men of the
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republican party are so obsessed with your collective uteri. we have a big, big hour and the iq will go way up. (vo) current tv gets the conversation started weekdays at 9 eastern. >> i'm a slutty bob hope. the troops love me. tv and radio talk show host stephanie miller rounds out current's morning news block. you're welcome current tv audience for the visual candy. (vo) sharp tongue. >>excuse me? (vo) quick wit. >> and yes, president obama does smell like cookies and freedom. (vo) and above all, opinion and attitude. >> really?! this is the kind of stuff they say about something they just pulled freshly from their [bleep]. >> you know what those people are like. >> what could possibly go wrong in eight years of george bush? >> my producer just coughed up a hairball. >>sorry. >>just be grateful current tv doesn't come in "smell-o-vision" >> oh come on!
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the sweatshirt is nice and all, but i could use a golden lasso. (vo)only on current tv.
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>> did anyone tell the pilgrims they should self-deport? >> no, they said "make us a turkey and make it fast". >> (laughter). >> she gets the comedians laughing. >> that's the best! >> that's hilarious. >> ... and the thinkers thinking. >> okay, so there is wiggle room in the ten commandments is what you're telling me. >> she's joy behar. >> ya, i consider you jew-talian. >> okay, whatever you want. >> who plays kafka? >> who saw kafka? >> who ever saw kafka? >> (laughter). >> asking the tough questions. >> chris brown, i mean you wouldn't let one of your daughters go out with him. >> absolutely not. >> you would rather deal with ahmadinejad then me? >> absolutely! >> (singing) >> i take lipitor, thats it. >> are you improving your lips? >> (laughter). >> when she's talking, you never know where the conversation is going to go. >> it looks like anthony wiener is throwing his hat in the ring. >> his what in the ring? >> his hat. >> always outspoken, joy behar.
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>> and the best part is that current will let me say anything. what the hell were they thinking? >> only on current tv. >> john: we're almost done here so an open letter to our anti-abortion pro-life republican friends. dear anti-abortion pro-life republican friends, let me begin by saying i'm not a huge fan of the term pro-life because only in america can you be pro-death penalty, pro-preemptive war against countries that haven't attacked us, way easy access to guns, pro drone bombs and land mines and still call yourself pro-life but i'm not a huge fan of the term pro-choice. i'll try to call you guys anti-roweroe v. wade. here's the thing. i know you guys have supported the republican party because they've been telling you for decades that if you vote g.o.p. and send them your money, they'll end abortion rights and in 2013, my friends, i'm afraid
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you've been suckered yet again. this year, we've seen a wave of anti-abortion rights bills passed in texas, wisconsin. they're the same exact law because they're written by the same ultra conservative group alec. whether the bills hold up in court, doesn't much matter to republicans. this year's model included closing most women's health clinics unless they have hospital grade facilities. that won't stand because other clinics aren't required to do that. these bills also feature mandatory ultrasounds so women have to see a sonogram but if the fetus is not sufficiently visible, women must be coerced by law into mandatory nonconsensual penetration via transvaginal ultrasounds before they terminate their pregnancy. wisconsin governor scott walker really wants to be president but he knows the law stinks like rush limbaugh's harsher. he signed did on july 5th in the middle of a four-day weekend to guarantee as little national press as possible and a judge has already blocked it. but they'll go on passing these laws and boast about it to y'all
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because they want your votes and they want your money. so here's the ugly reality, my pro-life friends, the g.o.p. at least on the national level, is not serious about banning abortion. it is the biggest fund raising tool they've got. they're going to keep talking a really good game to you and decade after decade, nothing's going to change. you think i'm lying? here are a few facts fox news hasn't essential inned. ronald reagan signed the therapeutic abortion act into law then felt bad about it. george w. bush was proudly pro-choice until the day reagan asked him to be his running mate at which time he became devoutly pro-life overnight. george w. bush mostly side stepped the issue and nominated many pro rowe judges to the bench and the abortion rate went up every year w was in the white house, went down every year clinton was in the white house. mitt romney was once more pro-choice than kennedy but y'all voted for him. they keep trying to stack the supreme court of course but that still wouldn't end abortion. it would just send it to the
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states. you might might not want to vote for the right to life party. as well as politicians have mistresses, abortion will always be legal. as far as the bible, jesus never mentions abortion though he's clearly against the death penalty and at no point does god prohibition abortion. god gives instruction on how to terminate an unfaithful wife's pregnancy but that's only if you believe what's actually in the bible. you see, my friends, three sides to every story, yours, mine and the cold, hard truth. the truth is abortion has always been around and will always be around and if you ever do succeed in repealing roe v. wade, abortion will still be here just unsafe, illegal and unregulated. if you get your way, it is thousands of new dr. kermit gosnells. politicians know this and they skillfully divide us so we don't come together on how the two party system sold out the middle class. if we could find a way to prevent more unwanted pregnancies on a national level, you would see the abortion rate fall and this argument will only slow down when the pro-choicers and pro-lifers come together and
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agree on o one fact. america doesn't have an abortion problem. it has an unwanted pregnancy problem and an abortion symptom. that's our show for tonight. this is "viewpoint." this is current. we're still here. good night, mom. >> joy: there is a new book. to discuss this and other sex relationship stories is the author of what do women want, daniel burg na. also relationship expert siggy slicker and chuck nice is here to add a little love to the conversation. so okay, let's start with this one point that women, you suggest in the book that women are not monogamous. it is a m


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